#SWFL Top Picks for Arts & Entertainment Enthusiasts for the week of April 20-29, 2013

Posted on April 21, 2013

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bopLockupSaturday, April 20-Sunday, April 21
Money for nothing and balloons for free
So I guess the 80s jingle has become very literal for #SWFL enthusiasts. Eddie Money is playing a free concert at the Balloons Over Paradise Festival —that’s right—for nothing. So I guess you have nothing to loose. This plus you can officially and legally get high this 4.20, even if you don’t live in Colorado or Washington. High in the sky that is. (Stop laughing so hard.) The event plays out Saturday & Sunday with tethered balloon rides, children’s activity village, classic car show, dog agility show and more. Be sure to gamble some of your savings away there. I’m always hearing of people winning thousands at the casino. The event continues through Sunday, April 21 so get your fill. The Seminole Immokalee Casino is located at 506 S 1st St  Immokalee. Call them at 239-658-1313 or head to www.seminoleimmokaleecasino.com for more info.

davidmayfieldparade-300x200Outdoor concert where you can BYOB
The final outdoors show at the Alliance, The David Mayfield Parade, in the 2013 Bruce T. Gora Sunday Sunset Concert Series, takes place this weekend. Gates open at 4:00. Lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and coolers welcome. The music and showmanship reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful. Click here to visit the band’s website. Tickets start at $15 and are available at www.artinlee.org or at the doors at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

earfdayMonday, April 22
Catch an eco-friendly softball game
This Earth Day head over to http://www.earthday.org/footprint-calculator to see just how many earths it would take to sustain your lifestyle. Make a change, reduce your carbon footprint and then come watch us play some green softball. Yes, I j0ined a softball league. With my good pal, and only slightly famous, Carie Small. She’s concerned about the Earth as well as a ton of other important issues. (Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CarieIsSoVery as she is into EVERYTHING!) Tickets are $0. You can come watch my no-harm-to-our-ecosystems-ninja-like hall of fame style moves at third base or Carie’s rough and tumble acrobatic—yet environmentally friendly— wicked awesome plays in the outfield from the comfortable seating at Hammond Stadium. Most nights in #SWFL are cool post-rain but feel free to bring icy beverages of your own to keep comfortable while you are entertained. Our team SportsGroup is managed by Jersey Joel. That should about be enough information to get you excited about celebrating Earth Day right. Right? 🙂 We take the field at 6:45 p.m. this week. Hammond Stadium is located at 14400 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Fort Myers and where the Miracle and Minnesota Twins play. Find us

Picture 8Tuesday, April 23
Get your Chinese Dance on at the BB MANN
It sells out at New York’s Lincoln Center. Let’s see how much culture #SWFL has. Shen Yun brings to life 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through classical Chinese dance and music in an exhilarating show you will never forget. It is a grand production with nearly 100 artists, 400 costumes, and the only orchestra in the world featuring both classical Western and Chinese instruments as permanent members. For thousands of years, Chinese artists cultivated virtue, believing that to create true art worthy of the heavens, there must first be inner purity. Today, Shen Yun’s artists follow this noble tradition. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers. For more information call 239.489.3033. Tickets start at $52. To purchase or for more information head to http://bbmannpah.com/performance.php?id=542#

endgame-photoWednesday, April 24
Get hammered, and nailed
Ghostbird Theatre Company presents Endgame, by Nobel Prize winning playwright Samuel Beckett. Beckett’s one-act play tells the story of Hamm, who can’t stand, and Clov, who can’t sit. Servant and master hammer away at one another while Hamm’s parents sit in ash bins nearby. Considered one of Beckett’s greatest works, Endgame shows us that nothing is funnier than the unhappy relationship between hammer and nail. Directed by Brittney Brady the play continues through April 27. Tickets are $10. Cocktails start at 7:30 p.m. Curtain starts at 8 p.m. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St., Fort Myers. You can learn more by surfing to www.sbdac.com.

9948_10152158676108029_668700111_nFriday, April 26
Feel the Heat with Menopause the Musical
This musical cracked me up for most of the night. The premise is simple. “Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common except a black lace bra … and memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more. This hilarious musical parody set to classic tunes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s will have you dancing in the aisles.” The execution is spectacular this is not one to miss. Tickets start at $47 for dining and show. Call 239-278-4422 or head to 1380 Colonial Boulevard or online sales at www.broadwaypalm.com now. Menopause plays through May 18.

540135_624990857515009_1383697096_nSaturday, April 27
Crazy Neon Skating Dance Party
So I guess when the invite says “NO DRESS CODE” three times I get the point. But the followup explanation for what to expect at this party bragging nearly a dozen DJs, black lights and power lasers says more than I could.—”Neon, naked, pasties, fishnets, costumes, hats, masks, flip flops, bikinis & boardshorts.. ARE ALL OK – No Judgment Zone – Come have fun!!”— Sooooooooo, anyway, if you love adult bounce houses, oxygen bars, video games with over 15,000 watts of sound lasers, light shows, glove shows, smoke machines, dry ice fogs, crazy costumes, neon black light glws shows and glow sticks this is totally your thing. Attendees are encouraged to bring your own skates but don’t dress like Sonic. “There can be only one! LOL”

Tickets are $10 in advance or $20 at the doors of Escape Zone Event Center which is located at 5370 South Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers. (Next to the old Reserve. Across from Page Field on 41) For the Facebook invite page head to https://www.facebook.com/events/141930832656317/ Get tickets at http://www.wantickets.com/Events/ShowEvent.aspx?eventId=125850

Picture 7Sunday, April 28
Educating Rita
Sometimes theater is best absolutely left simple. With no set changes and just two stars, Florida Rep keeps this one bare bones. Rita is a brash young hairdresser with a free spirit. Frank is a disillusioned English professor who hides behind booze and books. Eager to improve her lot in life, Rita enrolls in classes at the local university, but when these two very different people come together, sparks fly. In this Olivier Award-winning comedy, the relationship between teacher and student blossoms as Rita discovers a passion, and Frank finds a new lease on his life. Tickets are $45 and $40 and can be purchased by heading down to the box office at 2267 1st Street, Fort Myers, calling 239-332-4488 or by emailing BoxOffice@FloridaRep.org. Plays through May 5.

Picture 11Upcoming
May 1-5, 2013 SunFest
SunFest is Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival held annually in downtown West Palm Beach. I’ll admit I will be very excited to see Smashing Pumpkins and Slightly Stoopid this year. This year’s acts include Train • The Smashing Pumpkins•The Offspring •Ed Sheeran •Life in Color • The Black Crowes • Kendrick Lamar • Mac Miller • Slightly Stoopid •Big Sean • Gavin DeGraw • Phillip Phillips • Boz Scaggs • Cheap Trick •Barenaked Ladies •Jimmy Cliff • Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros• Dickey Betts & Great Southern •The Airborne Toxic Event •Reel Big Fish• Less Than Jake •Molly Hatchet •Gary Clark Jr. • Yellowcard •The Chevin •Tribal Seeds The Lone Bellow •AAN •Kaleigh Baker & the Nem• Roadkill Ghost Choir •Breeze Davinci • Chris McCarty and The Underground Movement • Community Property •Dharmata •Future Prezidents • Jahguar •Making Faces •Rich Coccaro •SJ •Stiletto Red •The Curve •The Duppies •UNRB •Shatterglass. For tickets and information head to www.sunfest.com

Picture 10May 4, 2013 Kentucky Derby at SBDAC
Grab your grand hats and head to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center for “An Evening at the Kentucky Derby” on Saturday, May 4, from 5:30-9 p.m. Guests will view the Run for the Roses pre-show, followed by the “most exciting two minutes in sports” while enjoying traditional derby-style cuisine and sipping mint juleps. Admission to the event is $125 and includes mint juleps, drinks, and southern fare. Tables are available for $1,000. The evening includes a performance by critically acclaimed jazz singer/ bassist Kate Davis and ensemble.

Kate Davis, singer/songwriter and upright bassist, is a multi-talented artist performing in diverse venues ranging from The Kennedy Center, The Blue Note (NYC), and Lincoln Center to Rockwood Music Hall. She is a rising star on the national jazz scene, with a tone and maturity beyond her 21 years.The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street, in the downtown Fort Myers River District. For tickets or information, please visit http://www.sbdac.com or call 239-333-1933. Hit up the Facebook invite page at https://www.facebook.com/events/138597906324197/?ref=ts&fref=ts

ipadLooking for more?
If you want to check out great local suggestions I suggest you pick up a Florida Weekly. They are definitely in the know. Here is there most recent Destinations Guide. http://www.floridaweekly.com/documents/DestinationsGuide2013/flip

68279_488659893943_4702850_nHere for the first time? Here are some must tries
 Lush French Bakery  offers freshly baked pastries, baguette, croissant and breads still filling the room with the warm scent of baked goods hot from the oven. Looking for the best coffee spot & donut spot in town. Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Their donuts are heaven.

The Beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva are obvious options.

Firestone’s grand view
The grand owner of The Edison Restaurant and Ford’s Garage has completed the holy trinity of Uncommon Friends with The Firestone – Grille, Martini Bar & Sky Lounge. The genius gentlemen who once spent their inventive time here could not have imagined the delicious trifecta of restaurants bearing their names coming to fruition. Not to mention the fantastic view. Or could they?  Thank Daniel Kearns with a slap on the back for infusing Downtown Fort Myers with another out-of-the-park place to wine, dine, drink and party in the ever burgeoning River District—and right in front of the recently opened basin walk. The Firestone – Grille, Martini Bar & Sky Lounge is located at 2224 Bay Street, Fort Myers. For more information call 239.337.3473.

FMffcardTWISTEDSTUFFERfrontBest Food Downtown—Hands Down
Twisted Vine has become the go to restaurant when it comes to the most delicious, locally grown, eclectic cuisine, prepared delicately for the most wonderful culinary delights. Be sure to go here while you are in town. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers, right next to the recently opened basin walk. Call them at 226-1687 or head to www.twistedvinebistro.com for more information. You will see me there!

—Eric Raddatz is occasionally surprised as to all of the cool events that are happening in #SWFL and likes to share them with you. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ericraddatz for more updates! When in doubt be sure to pick up a Florida Weekly while in town or head to www.floridaweekly.com

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